At mid-morning, a low, heavy cloud ceiling that muffles sound. The first snowflakes wander in, accompanied by a song sparrow’s jaunty tune.
Sunny and warm. A bluebird is warbling up by the barn and a song sparrow sings next to the springhouse.
Cold rain. A song sparrow sings sotto voce from beside the stream. In the front garden, one last, late blossom glimmers on the witch hazel.
Between bitter gusts of wind, I hear the calls of juncos and nuthatches, chickadees and titmice, a song sparrow singing in the ditch.
Clear and cold at dawn. Nothing but the sound of water gurgling in the spring until, at length, the first distant bird call: song sparrow.
A dusting of snow. Three song sparrows are trying to out-sing each other, and the tall black locust at the woods’ edge creaks with ice.
A fresh dusting of snow. I close my eyes to listen the birds: song sparrow, bluebird, chickadee, a white-throated sparrow’s wavering song.
The rushing stream in one ear, a song sparrow in the other. Smoke from someone’s burn pile. High up, a V of migrant geese heading north.
Cold, overcast and still. Two song sparrows with markedly different regional accents sing back and forth across the road.
Now that the walnuts have all fallen, a squirrel deigns to pick one off the ground. The dogwood beside the stream pullulates with sparrows.
Another cold and overcast morning. A meadow vole zips into its burrow beside the stream and a song sparrow flies up with an indignant chirp.
A groundhog crosses the road and enters a burrow just cleared of snow. A song sparrow sings close enough that I can see his throat throb.
In the silence after the bulldozer stops, a song sparrow sings his lying spring song over and over. A gauze of stratus cloud dims the sun.
Parallel relics of the plow, the only snow yet to go glows in the dim light. A song sparrow by the spring house sings his spring song.
Despite the cold, a song sparrow warbles in the bushes. Inside, a shrill chirp from the smoke alarm—a dying battery’s swan song.
Sunny but still cold at 9:00. A fly walks slowly up a porch column. Water gurgles in the ditch. Three kinds of sparrows trade songs.